In Southern California, jade plants grow so widely and well that they're often used as hedge shrubs. They thrive there because the climate is warm, temperate and sunny -- much like the plant's native Australia. Elsewhere jade plants are more likely to be houseplants. No matter where you live, get your jade to grow quickly by understanding its growing cycle and plant requirements. Over time, indoor and outdoor jade plants (Crassula argentea) can grow up to 5 feet tall.
Keep jade plants in a temperate environment. Clemson University recommends giving jade daytime temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with nighttime temperatures 10 degrees cooler. If you live in a place with winter frosts, you should move your jade plant indoors for the winter when temperatures fall to 40 and move it back outside when temperatures warm in the spring (or grow it indoors all the time).
Outdoor jade plants thrive in full sun. Place indoor jade plants in a draft-free room since cold can retard their growth. Put the plant in an area where it receives bright filtered sunlight, preferably from a south-facing window, for at least four hours a day (more is better). If you can't provide this much light, get a fluorescent grow light and turn the light on your jade plant.
Fertilize your jade during the growing season so that it gets ideal nutrition. The Garden Helper recommends using 10-20-10 fertilizer every two weeks from April to October. Mix the right amount of dry fertilizer with water and water your jade plant with this mix for optimal growth.
Water jade once a week during the growing season. Water your plant until the soil is drenched and water flows through drainage holes in the bottom of your pot. In the dormant season, let the soil dry out altogether before watering.
Understand that jades go through winter dormancy. Your plant will not grow from November to March and this is normal. Expect jade to begin growing again in spring.
Repot container jade every two to three years. Choose a container that is one size larger than the one currently holding your plant. Fill it halfway with a cactus potting soil. Then remove your jade from its container by grasping the trunk and pulling up. Inspect the roots of your jade and trim any damaged ones with clippers. Place the jade in the new container. Fill in the top of the container with more potting soil. Water the plant to settle the soil once you've repotted.